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Use Knowledge of Morphology to Help Spell Words 1

In this worksheet, students use their knowledge of the structure of words to help them with spelling.

'Use Knowledge of Morphology to Help Spell Words 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Transcription

Curriculum subtopic:  Spelling Awareness (use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling)

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Morphology is the study of the structure of words, or how they are built up.

 

 

Many words are made up of a root word, plus a prefix or suffix or both. All the words in the list below contain the root word help.

helpful (root word + suffix)

helping (root word + suffix)

unhelpful (prefix + root word + suffix)

 

If we know what role the different parts of a word play, it can help us understand what the word means and how to spell it. For example, the suffix -ful means 'full of' but it is always spelt with one l. So if we want to write the word meaning 'full of joy' we know that it is spelt joyful and not joyfull.

 

The prefix ir- gives a word its opposite meaning.

ir + responsible = irresponsible

If we know that the word is built up this way, we know that we need double r at the beginning rather than just one r.

 

In this worksheet you can use your knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to help spell words.

Look at the following word.

 

undressing

 

It is made up of a root word, a suffix and a prefix. Which is which?

Column A

Column B

un
prefix
dress
suffix
ing
root word

Look at the list of words below. They are all based on the same root word.

disappear

appearance

reappearance

disappearing

 

What is the root word? Write it in the answer box.

Sometimes the spelling of the root word changes a little when a suffix is added. Look at the list below.

taken

overtake

taking

mistake

retake

 

The -e in take is dropped before adding -ing. If you know this it helps to spell words based on similar roots, such as make and bake.

 

Add the suffix -ing to the root word bake and write it in the answer box.

The suffix -ful means 'full of'.

joyful

beautiful

 

Write in the answer box the word that means 'full of care'.

Look at the spelling of the new word that is formed when you add the suffix -ness to the root word happy.

happiness

 

Did you notice that the y has changed to i? Now add the suffix -ness to the root word grumpy and write the new word in the answer box.

Now look at what happens when you add the suffix -ful to the root word beauty.

beautiful

 

Again, the y changes to i before the suffix is added. Knowing this can help you spell other words that end in y.

 

Write in the answer box the word that means 'full of mercy'.

The prefix il- means 'not'. If you add it to the root word legal it makes a new word meaning 'not legal'. How is the new word spelt?

ilegal

illegal

The prefix ir- also means 'not'. Add it to the root word regular to make a new word meaning 'not regular' and write the new word in the answer box.

This time, add the prefix im- to the root word mature to make a new word meaning 'not mature'.

To reverse something is to undo it, or make it go backwards. If you add the prefix ir- and the suffix -ible you get a new word meaning 'not able to be undone'.

 

What is the correct spelling of the new word?

irreverseible

irreversible

ireversible

ireverseible

  • Question 1

Look at the following word.

 

undressing

 

It is made up of a root word, a suffix and a prefix. Which is which?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

un
prefix
dress
root word
ing
suffix
EDDIE SAYS
A prefix and a suffix have been added to the root word 'dress'.
  • Question 2

Look at the list of words below. They are all based on the same root word.

disappear

appearance

reappearance

disappearing

 

What is the root word? Write it in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
appear
EDDIE SAYS
All the words are formed from the root word 'appear'. If you know this it helps to spell them.
  • Question 3

Sometimes the spelling of the root word changes a little when a suffix is added. Look at the list below.

taken

overtake

taking

mistake

retake

 

The -e in take is dropped before adding -ing. If you know this it helps to spell words based on similar roots, such as make and bake.

 

Add the suffix -ing to the root word bake and write it in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
baking
EDDIE SAYS
The -e is dropped in the same way as for 'taking'.
  • Question 4

The suffix -ful means 'full of'.

joyful

beautiful

 

Write in the answer box the word that means 'full of care'.

CORRECT ANSWER
careful
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember to spell the word with only one l at the end?
  • Question 5

Look at the spelling of the new word that is formed when you add the suffix -ness to the root word happy.

happiness

 

Did you notice that the y has changed to i? Now add the suffix -ness to the root word grumpy and write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
grumpiness
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember to change the y to i?
  • Question 6

Now look at what happens when you add the suffix -ful to the root word beauty.

beautiful

 

Again, the y changes to i before the suffix is added. Knowing this can help you spell other words that end in y.

 

Write in the answer box the word that means 'full of mercy'.

CORRECT ANSWER
merciful
EDDIE SAYS
This time you need to change the y to i and remember that there is only one l at the end.
  • Question 7

The prefix il- means 'not'. If you add it to the root word legal it makes a new word meaning 'not legal'. How is the new word spelt?

CORRECT ANSWER
illegal
EDDIE SAYS
Knowing that the word is made up of the prefix il- plus the root word legal tells you that you need double l.
  • Question 8

The prefix ir- also means 'not'. Add it to the root word regular to make a new word meaning 'not regular' and write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
irregular
EDDIE SAYS
Knowing that the word is made up of the prefix ir- and the root word regular helps you to remember to use double r.
  • Question 9

This time, add the prefix im- to the root word mature to make a new word meaning 'not mature'.

CORRECT ANSWER
immature
EDDIE SAYS
You need double m, as the prefix ends in m and the root word begins with m.
  • Question 10

To reverse something is to undo it, or make it go backwards. If you add the prefix ir- and the suffix -ible you get a new word meaning 'not able to be undone'.

 

What is the correct spelling of the new word?

CORRECT ANSWER
irreversible
EDDIE SAYS
The prefix ends in r and the root word begins with r, so you need double r. The root words ends in e, so you need to drop it before adding the suffix.
---- OR ----

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